Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turkey Day Road Recap: Grizzlies 100, Celtics 93

Posted By on Thu, Nov 28, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Zach Randolph struggled with Jared Sullinger, but the Grizzlies got the win.
  • Larry Kuzniewski
  • Zach Randolph struggled with Jared Sullinger, but the Grizzlies got the win.

Just some quick notes on last night's victory over the Celtics in Boston while we're all sitting around waiting on stuff to cook this Thanksgiving morning:

  •  Zach Randolph struggled mightily while matched up with Jared Sullinger. The two were battling on the blocks a great deal early, and it seemed like Randolph just couldn't ever get anything going. He made a couple of his patented 19-foot rainbow jumpers, but overall it didn't seem like he ever really got going. He shot 5-16 from the floor, with an eFG% of .313 for the night. I wasn't expecting Randolph to have as much trouble with Sullinger as he did, but then again I guess we've never really seen a fully healthy Jared Sullinger face off against the Grizzlies, either. He certainly gave Randolph fits.

  •  Kosta Koufos couldn't get anything to fall, either, but he finished with 13 rebounds. Two things Koufos does better than Marc Gasol: block shots and grab rebounds. Two things Koufos doens't do better than Marc Gasol: shoot from the elbows, yell menacingly after great plays. Also pass, but that's three. And Koufos is a decent passer, it's just hard to expect Gasol-level distribution from anybody else.

  •  Speaking of passing, Ed Davis had a few great high-low feeds to Koufos last night—and that wasn't the only thing Davis did well. The Grizzlies really picked up the pace with Randolph sitting, and paired with Nick Calathes, Davis did very well in the faster-paced game running the pick and roll. On defense, Davis was able to use his athleticism, partly because Gasol's absence gives Davis more space to hang out and a little more time to react. Davis ended up with 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 24 minutes, which is exactly the kind of stat line he needs to have if he's going to establish himself as a legitimate rotation player for the Grizzlies.

  •  Jerryd Bayless got back on track a little bit. Joerger seems to have moved him off the ball full-time right now, prefering to play Calathes as the backup PG, and Bayless had another "on" game after a long streak of "off" games Wednesday night, scoring 22 points on 10 shots (how's that for efficiency?) including two free throws that iced the game after a string of improbable Celtics 3-pointers rattled in and made the game closer than it should have been. The Grizzlies are desperately going to need "Good Bayless" production while Gasol is out, and even when he's not.

The Grizzlies have Thanksgiving off, and they return to action Saturday night at FedExForum against the Brooklyn Nets, who are pretty awful right now. We'll see if Jason Kidd has to spill another drink.


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